Inbound marketing refers to the use of marketing that help companies bring potential customers to the business, rather than having the marketing team fight for customer’s attention. Companies create content in order to appeal to their dream customers, which attracts qualified prospects to the business and keeps them engaged for long term.
Inbound marketing aligns with the ideology of - ‘Stop interrupting what people are interested in, Become what people are interested in’. As per Hubspot, ‘Inbound marketing has been the most effective way of doing business online since its inception in 2006’. Unlike the old outbound marketing method of buying email lists, buying ads, and hoping to get more leads, inbound marketing emphasizes on creating quality content that attracts people towards the product and the company.
Startups, which lack funds during the introduction stage, It becomes of utmost importance for them to follow cost efficient marketing strategies to promote their businesses and Inbound marketing provides them with such a platform.
Let us now look at how inbound marketing can help startups grow their businesses-
Cost effective way of Marketing
Inbound marketing is an efficient and affordable way to do marketing. For businesses that lack initial investments and are bootstrapping, inbound marketing acts as a savior, especially when such companies have more people than money at their disposal.
It also help them build up an audience of fans, followers, prospective customers and loyalists organically just by spending very little amount on marketing.
Organic Traffic is better than paid traffic
When it comes to online marketing, companies can either have organic results or paid results for attracting more traffic towards the website. Now, paid traffic is more costly and likely to attract one time customers, whereas organic results attract customers which are likely to stick with businesses for a relatively longer period. These customers are likely to brag about the product/ company and act as loyalists for businesses.
Helps in building good relationships with customers
The Inbound Methodology ends with the ‘Delight’ stage i.e. it focuses on building long term relationships with the customers. Inbound marketing enables businesses to create content which is likely to motivate customers to come back and buy more from them. Be it first time visitors, hot leads or existing customers, the inbound way provides content for all of them.
According to a research by McKenzie, “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customers feel they are being treated”. With Inbound marketing companies have ensured that they continue to engage their customers with delight and convert their current customer base into happy promoters for the organizations and products they love.
Helps in building Credibility
With Inbound marketing, businesses can produce and post authoritative content on their websites. This helps them build more credibility and visibility in the marketplace, which in turn provides potential customers with an impression that the business is knowledgeable and will be able to help them fulfill their requirements.
Though Inbound way is very effective in making consumers interested in your product and building long term relationships, many companies believe that supplementing it with outbound marketing results in better leads converted to sales. Even Hubspot, the dominant leader in the space, uses outbound marketing strategies towards the end of sales funnel to convert more sales.
A good marketing campaign is one that can creatively combine inbound and outbound marketing strategies resulting in higher potential leads and better customer conversion rate. There is no right or wrong answer to decide on the ratio of inbound/outbound marketing. It solely depends on the industry, the target segment and the businesses needs and objectives of running a marketing campaign.
Having a sturdy marketing mix of both- the inbound and the outbound marketing is a must for startups in today’s digitally driven ecosystem.